"Faces - Fragments"
“The strongest impression was always made on me by the
faces of the people I encountered, many of them disappearing never
to return again. All that remains is my curiosity about what lay
hidden behind them.”– J. V., 2008
Jindra Viková graduated from the Academy of Arts, Architecture
and Design in Prague, having studied under Prof. Otto Eckert. She
is known chiefly as a ceramicist, although she has increasingly
used techniques and materials other than porcelain and clay for
expressing the emotionalism of her work.
The Kampa Museum show in Prague consisted of her most recent work
– silhouettes, photograms and assemblages; faces and fragments.
The assemblages fuse diverse components into a unified whole, confronting
them with each other and creating metaphors, new connections and
interrelations. Their form is metamorphosed, minimalized, abstracted.
Jindra Viková speaks of fragments of past encounters and
the need to preserve at least the memory of them, something which
disappears irretrievably, lingering but for an instant and then
becoming close to non-existent.
Humanity remains her central theme. However, the silhouettes no
longer show individual features as they did back in the 1980s. They
are not types, or painted figures inspired by live models, but are
instead symbols, two-dimensional silhouettes most akin to shooting
targets; heads with suppressed details, with signs in place of the
human. The vulnerability of these low, one-sided reliefs is amplified
by their being mounted in plexi-glass boxes, with scraps pasted-on
– the fragments of memories.
Silhouettes drawn with coloured wire attain a third dimension
by being erected spatially. The outlines of several of the heads
circumscribe airy volumes, interconnecting and overlapping, creating
an illusion of suppleness and movement. With a changing use of angle
they too are transformed. A wire head touches another face, two
faces merge together, lips pass from one face to another. The first
silhouette was created in Oregon in 1992, and carries the appeal
of an unexpected revelation. There is a sudden fascination, an enchantment
with the new, as well as a degree of uncertainty. It is a pity that
one cannot walk around any of those wire sculptures.
The irreversibility of time and the intangibility of memory are
rendered with uncommon intensity in the cycle Hands.
Some time ago Jindra Viková saw women bathe their hands in
warm paraffin – as a form of beauty treatment – and
she wanted to preserve the casts of these hands. In a similar way
to how a snake sheds its skin, similarly, a man is long gone, yet
the trousers, or the sweater he wore still remember the volume and
the unique forms of his body. The series Hands evokes a similarly
powerful response to some of the works of Alina Szapocnikow or Eva
The assemblages do not have individual titles. They are diverse,
and yet as it were interchangeable, like one another. Are our desires,
hopes, fears and joys as alike as this? They must be. For if they
were not, we would hardly be able to communicate anything of substance.
And what would then become of art? It would cease to exist.